Sunday Service (9:30am): Knowing God
This service is built around the theme that it is only through knowing God rightly (knowing and following his law is necessary for doing this) that we can become people of God. Our identity is found in knowing and loving him, which we learn through listening to his word and following his law. Throughout this service, we are reminded over and over again that God's ways are not our ways.
In the beginning of the service, we are called to worship through the vision of God which call both men and angels to worship (Mighty God, while angels bless thee), and through the Lord's own words in the Psalms, he gives us words for our prayers--and understanding that by loving his law and desiring after his law in our hearts, we will be given delight and life. The hymn that follows reiterates that the very foundation of our lives--that upon which all our hopes are placed--is his word (How firm a foundation).
In the confession, we are reminded that we have turned away from the glory offered to us and pursued our own broken paths to success and happiness. We confess in the spoken confession that we have erred and strayed from God's ways and pursued our own, and offended against his holy laws. In the sung confession, we confess that we have not known God as we ought, and this has caused our hearts and minds to be filled with things of the world instead of seeing the love and beauty of God, which calls us to a different path. The assurance promises us that in Christ we are made a new creation, given his very righteousness and enabled to see and know the heart of God. We sing of this change the Lord has done in us in the song that responds (What the Lord has done in me).
The lectionary readings are a powerful display of the Lord's heart, the difference between God's ways and the world's ways. They are also a strong reminder that to follow God's laws is to know him better and be transformed by the wisdom of God. The song that follows is a prayer that God would indeed lead us into this transformative knowledge of him--and that he is the only one who can do it (Lead me, Lord, lead me in thy righteousness).
The offertory ties in with the message of the sermon text--that our focus and priority should be on the things of heaven, which make light of much of what the world values in terms of wealth and prestige.
The communion song also reiterates that much of what we strive for on earth will perish, but God and his promises remain forever and will preserve all who are in him. The final hymn paints a picture of a life lived on earth with the knowledge of who God is and what he promises to do for us. By trusting his word and following his law, our life here and in the world to come is transformed (If thou but suffer God to guide thee).
We look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday @ 9:30am!